So I finally saw a physical therapist this past week. A second orthopedist said I’m not doomed or anywhere near a place where I should be concerned about arthritis. Thank goodness for second opinions. There are solutions! I don’t have to dance in pain!
Bonus: the PT has a dance background, including some ballroom. If any dancers out there are looking for some kind of professional help with their body and/or mind, check out doctorsfordancers.com. It’s a pretty new website featuring a directory of people, from personal trainers and physical therapists to counselors and Reiki experts, who have experience working specifically with dancers. It’s where I found my PT. Funny coincidence: the second orthopedist actually refers a lot of patients to the same PT office. So good connections all around!
I really liked my PT, except when she asked me when my next dance lesson was, and since it happened to be that evening, she asked me if I could cancel. Say what now?
I kept my cool and slowly responded that yes, that would be possible if she really thought it was wise. She really did. *sigh*
She also said I could practice this weekend only if my knees didn’t hurt. And as soon as my knees started to hurt, I should call it quits. Well, my knees have been hurting all weekend, so I didn’t go to the studio.
I’m carrying around a mix of frustration and relief. Relief because I’m actually doing something about healing my knees. Frustration for the obvious reason. I want to dance!
I keep reminding myself that the reason my knees continue to hurt is because I’ve never allowed them to completely heal since being aggravated in January and February during the Burn fitness program. I meekly tried to insist to both my second orthopedist and my PT that I did take a week and a half off after overdoing it in the Zumbathon post-Burn. But oh, I still went to my dance lesson during that time, so I didn’t totally take it off. Apparently that doesn’t count as rest. Two to six weeks is the usual recommendation. So basically, I’ve just been reaggravating my knees this whole time, even as I’m going less intense in Zumba and only taking one dance lesson a week. Well shite.
I also keep reminding myself that if I slow down and actually rest, my knees will get back to working order faster and I’ll be able to get back to my normal routines faster. I just want to be able to dance, which I know you all can understand. At the same time, I would hate to be at my first Open-level competition with my knees screaming just in time for the scholarship round.
So no lesson and no practice this past week. My next PT appointment is on Monday. Pray for me that she doesn’t bench me again (dance lesson is on Tuesday)! At least I know she understands what drives us dancers, so she understands the magnitude of her telling me not to dance.
Straight up, it sucks when the body can’t keep up with what the mind and soul want. I know some of you are dealing with actual arthritis in your knees or some other equally frustrating breakdown in the body that limits your dancing. For me, this is a time when I try to practice some gratitude and take what I can get. It’s just temporary. There is a plan in place and I won’t be benched forever, just longer than I’d like.
In the meantime, I need to take up some alternative exercises so I don’t gain back my holiday weight from all this resting! What are your favorite upper body exercises?